Benefits of Homework


Maria McGrath, Reporter

Students complain about having homework at night. They argue that it does not help them get any smarter or better in their schooling. There is research to support the benefits of homework for students. 

Researchers answered the question if homework helps and improves a students work and understanding of a topic presented in class. The best way to do this is to compare students who get homework versus students who do not get assigned homework. The results suggest that homework can improve student’s scores on the class tests that come at the end of a topic. Across five studies, the average student who did homework had a higher unit test score than the students not doing homework.

However, 35 less correlational studies suggest little or no relationship between homework and achievement for elementary school students. For older students is did affect their accomplishments a bit, but for elementary kids, there was no relationship really. The reason for this is that younger children have less developed study habits and are less able to tune out distractions at home. Also, other studies show that kids who struggle in school, it takes them longer to do homework assignments because the assignments are more difficult for them.

So how much homework should students get at the end of a school day? The National Parent Teacher Association and the National Education Association have a parent’s guide that helps parents be informed on how to help their kid with homework and how much they should expect. Many school district policies state that high school students should expect about 30 minutes of homework for each class they take. Students should expect more time if they are in an honors or AP classes. Homework for junior high students appears to reach the point of about 90 minutes a night. For high school students, it ranges from 90 minutes to 2.5 hours.

The real question appears now, does homework benefit students? Homework can help students develop good study habits so they are ready to grow as their cognitive capacities mature. It can help students recognize that learning can occur at home as well as at school. It fosters independent learning and responsible character traits. It also gives parents an opportunity to see what is going on at school and expresses positive attitudes towards their child’s assignment.

Homework can be a pain and annoying to students, but usually it can really be a good thing. Teachers should monitor how much homework they give out and how much time it will take. Overall, the effects of homework are beneficial and help students accomplish and develop healthy habits that will affect their life after school in the real world.